Voting populaces abroad and at home are growing wary of dishing out taxpayer funding for major sports events and stadiums, with three recent examples bucking a long-term trend.
As the number of abandoned Olympic stadiums continues to grow — and municipal budgets continuing to be stretched thin — voters have begun to realize the costs of building lavish stadiums almost always fail to pay off economically. The past week brought with it several stories about the growing negativity toward dishing out these big dollars.
Winter Olympics 2022
Across Europe, citizens have outright rejected several referendums on whether to host the 2022 Olympics. Krakow, Poland, withdrew its bid to host on Monday after 70 percent of voters opposed the plan to submit a bid. That comes not long after Stockholm's ruling party withdrew funding plans to host the Winter Olympics. Voters in Munich and St. Moritz, Switzerland also rejected the idea by public referendum within the last year, according to Deadspin. Lviv, Ukraine put their bid on hold as well.
The only states left still bidding on the Olympics are, not coincidentally, in places without strong public speech: Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Beijing, China. "Increasingly, the only governments excited about hosting these events are the ones that don’t have to worry about public opinion," Slate's Joshua Keating writes.